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      FAA Announces 149 Airports to Close Control Towers

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      The Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday which 149 regional airport control towers across the country will close due to forced spending cuts.

      Grand Island's tower was originally on the list of possible closures, but will instead be part of a "cost share" program that allows for the tower to remain open.

      Sixteen towers will remain open under the "cost share" program due to a Congressional statute that sets aside funds every fiscal year for these towers. These cost-share program funds are subject to sequestration but the required 5 percent cut will not result in tower closures.

      All of the airports with towers that are closing will still be able to remain open, but pilots will now need to coordinate takeoffs and landings amongst themselves or over the radio. In the release announcing the closures FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said, "We will work with the airports and the operators to ensure the procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports."

      The towers will be shut down over a four-week period beginning April 7.

      To view a list of control towers that are to be closed, go to http://faa.gov/news/media/fct_closed.pdf.

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